GREENSBORO, N.C. – Clemson running back Travis Etienne has been named ACC Rookie of the Wee, the Atlantic Coast Conference announced on Monday.
The selections are determined by a vote of a 15-member media panel. The following are this week’s honorees:
Etienne had nine rushes for 113 yards and two scores, both in the fourth quarter, to key Clemson’s 27-point final period in a 34-7 win over visiting Boston College. The score was tied 7-7 when Etienne took over in the fourth period.
He scored on a 50-yard run with 5:41 left, then on a 10-yard run in the final minute to put the close game on ice. Etienne averaged 12.6 yards per rush and was named the winner of the Leather Helmet Award, which goes to the MVP of the Clemson vs. Boston College game. He is the first freshman to win the award.
OFFENSIVE BACK – Kurt Benkert, Virginia, Sr., QB, 6-4, 220, Cape Coral, Fla.
Benkert completed 19-of-29 passes for 273 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions in the Cavaliers’ 42-23 win Friday night at Boise State. UVA became the first non-conference opponent to defeat the Broncos on the blue turf in 17 years. Benkert had scoring strikes of 30, 27 and 64 yards during the game.
OFFENSIVE LINE – Parker Braun, Georgia Tech, So., OG, 6-3, 280, Hallsville, Texas
Braun put together a dominant performance in helping pave the way for Georgia Tech to rush for 436 yards in a 35-17 win over Pitt. He was credited with taking 22 defenders to the ground in 74 plays, an average of one every 3.4 snaps. Behind the Braun-led offensive front, Georgia Tech averaged 6.5 yards per rush over 67 carries and did not surrender a sack.
RECEIVER – Andre Levrone, Virginia, Sr., WR, 6-3, 220, Laurel, Md.
Levrone was a big-play producer in UVA’s 42-23 win at Boise State as the Cavaliers recorded the program’s first win west of the Mississippi since 1991. Levrone caught five passes for 141 yards (28.2 yards per reception) and had touchdown catches of 30 and 64 yards. Four of his five catches resulted in first downs for the Cavaliers.
DEFENSIVE LINE – Bradley Chubb, NC State, Sr., DE, 6-4, 275, Marietta, Ga.
Playing 51 snaps, Chubb tallied seven tackles in Saturday’s 27-21 road victory at No. 11 Florida State, five of which were solo stops. Two of his tackles were quarterback sacks that resulted in a total loss of 13 yards. In the second quarter, with FSU driving and down by three points, Chubb forced a fumble that the Wolfpack recovered at the NC State 2-yard line. With 12 seconds left in the first half, his quarterback sack resulted in a loss of nine yards to force the Seminoles to settle for a field goal.
LINEBACKER – Parris Bennett, Syracuse, Jr., WLB, 6-0, 208, Detroit, Mich.
Bennett posted a season-high 12 tackles, including a career-best three for lost yardage, in Syracuse’s 35-26 setback at No. 25 LSU. Bennett also recorded a safety, a pass breakup, and a quarterback hurry. He led a Syracuse defense that held the Tigers to 151 yards rushing, 66 below their season average, and stopped LSU’s streak of 12 consecutive non-conference games with a 100-yard rusher. Late in the third quarter, Bennett tackled Darrel Williams in the end zone for a loss of one yard and the safety. The two points kick-started a run of 16 straight points for Syracuse that closed the gap to 28-26 late in the fourth quarter.
DEFENSIVE BACK – Bryon Fields Jr., Duke, Sr., CB, 5-11, 185, Charlotte, N.C.
With Duke holding a 20-17 lead late in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s game at rival North Carolina, Fields intercepted a pass and returned it 61 yards for a touchdown to give the Blue Devils a 10-point lead. Then, with North Carolina facing fourth-and-12 at the Blue Devils’ 15-yard line, he registered a solo tackle to turn the ball over on downs and seal the 27-17 victory. Fields guided a Duke defense that limited UNC to 17 points (22.3 below its season average), 377 total yards (73.7 below its season average) and 3-of-16 (.188) on third down (the Tar Heels entered the game at .368). His interception return for a touchdown was the fourth of his career, tying an ACC record and setting a school mark. His two interception returns for touchdowns this season also match a Duke single-season record.
SPECIALIST – Quadree Henderson, Pitt, Jr., KR, 5-8, 190, Wilmington, Del.
All-purpose standout Quadree Henderson had a dazzling 80-yard punt return touchdown at Georgia Tech, Pitt’s longest punt return in 24 years. It marked Henderson’s second career punt-return touchdown and his sixth return for a score overall. Henderson is the first Pitt player to have multiple punt return touchdowns during his career since Darrelle Revis accomplished the feat over the 2005-06 seasons. With six total kick return touchdowns, Henderson is within striking distance of the NCAA record of eight held by nine different players (including former ACC and Clemson standout C.J. Spiller). Henderson totaled 208 all-purpose yards against Georgia Tech, with 202 coming on returns.